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Literature / Feed

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Everything Must Go...

Feed is a very cynical 2002 cyberpunk, young adult novel by M.T. Anderson, exploring the life of Anti-Hero protagonist Titus, in a dystopian future where technology has advanced so far that "Feeds" or miniature-computers are implanted into about 73% the population's brains by gigantic corporations. This was definitely a good idea.

The main plot of the story is Titus' relationship with a girl named Violet. During a concert on the moon, Titus, Violet, and the rest of their friends are damaged by a hacker. They are eventually released after a brief visit at the hospital.


Then it all goes to Hell.

Not to be confused with the first volume of the Newsflesh series. Or the 2005 Australian horror film.

Contains examples of:

  • Advert-Overloaded Future: As mentioned below, there are modifications that can force you to plug products all the time.
  • And I Must Scream: Violet, towards the end.
  • An Aesop: A society of people always connected to the internet and with each other at every moment, who order things over the internet, and who harm the environment? Sounds familiar...
  • Bilingual Bonus: People who speak Spanish and/or Portuguese will understand why the Ford Laputa sells poorly in Latin American countries.
  • Boy Meets Girl: It doesn't go well.
  • Buffy Speak: The text is absolutely fugueing littered with bizarre Future Slang, and it is meg skip.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Titus' little brother, who is so grating that he's never even properly named in-story.
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  • Crapsack World: However, as seen from Titus' point of view, it is probably more of a Crapsaccharine World.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Violet's dad, screaming at Titus after his daughter becomes ill.
    Fuck you! Fuck you forever and ever! Fuck you forever and ever and ever!!!
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Titus at the end, with Violet.
  • Covers Always Lie: The summary in the back mentions that Titus and his friends are disconnected from their feeds, and meet Violet who is fighting the feed. While this does happen, the cover makes it seem like that's the main focus of the book.
  • Downer Ending: Violet is dead, the Earth is becoming uninhabitable, war is brewing between the United States and the rest of the world, and absolutely nothing else has improved since the beginning.
  • Earth That Used to Be Better: Some characters lament the Earth's gradual decline, especially Violet and her father. Emphasis on "some".
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  • Everything Is Online: This is taken to the point where people without cybernetic implants are usually unable to function properly in society. A few people can manage to get by.
  • Expanded States of America: The United States has annexed the moon itself. Not everyone is happy about this...
  • Future Imperfect: Massive corporations rule the United States, the environment is downright toxic, and almost nobody (In the United States, anyway) even cares enough to stop it.
  • Given Name Reveal: In a bizarre and almost unremarked-upon reveal, we learn that Titus' tall, lanky, slow-spoken friend Link's full name is...Lincoln. Because he's a genetic clone of Abraham Lincoln
  • Grow Old with Me: This and being Happily Married to Titus are the focus of several of Violet's entries on her dreams list.
  • Heroic BSoD: Violet's dad might count, although not technically being a main protagonist in the story.
    • Titus goes through one too. After a visit with the deteriorating Violet late in the book, he strips naked and sits on his floor, ordering the same pair of jeans until he's cleaned out his credit.
  • Hoist By Her Own Petard: A tragic example. Remember how Violet's plan to fight the feed was essentially to create a profile that can't be traced? This keeps her from getting assistance from tech support when her Feed begins breaking down, as no one is interested in investing in someone with an "unreliable" consumer profile.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Nobody gives a crap about any of the horrible things going on in society.
  • Humans Are Flawed: Most characters partake in morally questionable acts. Some other characters point this out.
  • Humans Are Morons: Even though everyone has an incredibly powerful computer in their head, the average person has almost no history knowledge, and most people can't even read written text as a result of incredibly poor schooling. You'd think they'd get smarter from having brain implants...
  • Ill Girl: Violet becomes one after her Feed starts breaking down. She doesn't get better.
  • Lemony Narrator
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Violet could be considered one as well as a Deconstruction of one, with her situation basically asking "what if The Hero wasn't willing to give up normalcy for the girl?"
  • Megass Corp: It controls almost everything in the world, including the schools and the production of air. They even trademarked the very concepts of school and clouds.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Deconstructed. Titus seems as shallow and vacant-minded as any of his peers, but Violet points out that he is the only member of the group capable of using and understanding metaphor. He's actually the smart one.
  • Psychic Link: People can communicate like this through their feeds.
  • Puppet President: Heavily implied to be the case. The news snippets show him as a staunchly pro-megacorp moron who uses the exact same Future Slang as everyone else. He seems to be no smarter than the average American, and it shows. If Fridge Logic is to be believed, then there are corporations directly influencing his thoughts and actions to their whims.
  • Running Gag: The fictional song "I'll Sex You In" shows up on many occasions, along with the hit show "Oh? Wow! Thing!"
  • Second Love: Titus and Quendy are dating at the conclusion of the story.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: Violet's father. Until he snaps.
  • Shout-Out: Violet's father quotes The Time Machine at one point, and makes several other references to famous works of literature... which nobody has heard of.
  • Smithical Marriage: One of the things on Violet's dream list is to run away to a hotel in the mountains with Titus. She gets him to do this with her, but it doesn't quite end the way she'd hoped.
  • Their First Time: Averted. Violet and Titus almost sleep together, but he can't bring himself to do it.
  • This Loser Is You
  • Unnamed Parent: Violet's father.
  • Verbal Tic: It's mentioned towards the end that there're actually body modifications that can force you to advertise products in every sentence you say. A rather dark take on the trope.
    • Made slightly less dark due to it being completely voluntary and very expensive.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: This encompasses about half of Part 4, with the rest being Pet the Dog.

Everything must go.


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